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We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change

Case Study

Improv­ing Effi­cien­cy and Through­put: Opti­miz­ing Alu­mini­um Manufacturing



Effi­cient pro­duc­tion process­es are crit­i­cal in alu­mini­um man­u­fac­tur­ing plants. The man­u­fac­tur­ing process is com­pli­cat­ed and involves sev­er­al stages and the cap­i­tal invest­ment of the entire oper­a­tion is large. This means that opti­mis­ing each stage of the pro­duc­tion process includ­ing process effi­cien­cy is crit­i­cal for suc­cess in the industry.

The Client man­u­fac­tures qual­i­ty grade alu­mini­um cir­cles at a mod­ern pro­duc­tion plant. The alu­mini­um bot­toms man­u­fac­tured here are used in pres­sure cook­ers and oth­er anodised/non-anodised cook­ware. The com­pa­ny has a ful­ly equipped qual­i­ty con­trol and R & D depart­ment to test for impu­ri­ties as well as for mechan­i­cal prop­er­ties of the final product.


The Client engaged Renoir to help improve through­put, reduce repet­i­tive fail­ures and to design and install oper­a­tional score­cards. The key deliv­er­ables for the project included:

  1. De-bottlenecking the plant to improve throughput.
  2. Increas­ing avail­abil­i­ty by installing a pre­dic­tive main­te­nance culture.
  3. Improv­ing the order ful­fil­ment and dis­patch process.
  4. Design­ing and imple­ment­ing con­tin­u­ous mon­i­tor­ing and data cap­tur­ing on the shop floor


The Client com­mis­sioned Renoir to analyse the under­ly­ing issues, iden­ti­fy areas for improve­ment and imple­ment a Trans­for­ma­tion Programme.

Renoir’s Focus Process was deployed as a way of devel­op­ing a broad under­stand­ing of the oppor­tu­ni­ties and pro­mot­ing engage­ment in the changes to process­es and man­age­ment systems.

The joint team iden­ti­fied sev­er­al issues which were under­min­ing the com­pa­ny’s performance:

  1. Lim­it­ed mon­i­tor­ing of out­put at hourly/shift level.
  2. Inef­fec­tive data log­ging and con­trol over planned and unplanned downtime.
  3. Weak­ness­es in the target-setting process.
  4. Lim­it­ed vis­i­bil­i­ty on cus­tomer order ful­fil­ment actu­al date ver­sus commitment.
  5. Oper­a­tors were unaware about the expectations.
  6. Improp­er util­i­sa­tion of manpower

The team con­duct­ed focused dis­cus­sions with key process own­ers and used obser­va­tion­al stud­ies to iden­ti­fy dai­ly issues and oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment in var­i­ous areas, such as order plan­ning, sched­ul­ing, dis­patch plan­ning, order pipeline man­age­ment, and meet­ing effectiveness.

They imple­ment­ed sys­tem ele­ments to guide behav­iour and improve out­put. To reduce unplanned down­time, they focused on improv­ing pro­duc­tion plan­ning, imple­ment­ing PM sched­ules, real-time mon­i­tor­ing, and spares plan­ning. Planned down­time was reduced through advance cast­ing plan­ning in Sales Inven­to­ry Oper­a­tion Plan­ning meet­ings. To ensure par­tic­i­pa­tion from all key process own­ers, a cross-functional Man­age­ment Action Team (MAT) was formed.


Sev­er­al sys­tem ele­ments were imple­ment­ed to resolve the issues relat­ing to order plan­ning and sequenc­ing. We insti­tu­tion­alised a for­mal review struc­ture to assess per­for­mance and plan­ning for the next period.

To improve shop floor per­for­mance, we installed machine-wise boards which fos­tered a cul­ture of short inter­val con­trol. To improve the avail­abil­i­ty of real time pro­duc­tion data and expe­dite deci­sion mak­ing, WIP inven­to­ry and order track­ing tools were installed along with dai­ly, week­ly KPI dash­boards along with sales order dis­patch dashboards.

The entire process from sales order to pro­duc­tion sched­ul­ing and onto dis­patch has been inter­weaved into a sales inven­to­ry and oper­a­tions plan­ning ecosys­tem. The sys­tem is backed by robust review mech­a­nisms that man­age indi­vid­ual ele­ments from raw mate­r­i­al require­ment to pro­duc­tion lot sequenc­ing result­ing in improved OTIF (On-Time-In-Full), mea­sur­ing the effi­cien­cy and effec­tive­ness of order ful­fil­ment processes.



Improved through­put com­pared to baseline 


Reduc­tion in melt­ing batch cycle time 


Increase in Plant availability 


Increase in ingots to actu­al cir­cle recov­ery (yield)


Reduc­tion in Work-in-progress days 

Installing a pull-based pro­duc­tion struc­ture yield­ed sig­nif­i­cant results and an end-to-end alu­mini­um recov­ery track­ing mech­a­nism has enabled loss track­ing at every stage before final cir­cles are pro­duced. This has result­ed in bet­ter visu­al­i­sa­tion and improv­ing yield by 2%.

As well as these impor­tant improve­ments, Renoir pro­vid­ed train­ing in key change man­age­ment con­cepts to devel­op a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous improvement.

This case study shows how it is pos­si­ble to achieve process changes on the work floor, deliv­er­ing real results that cre­ate val­ue. The com­pa­ny now has the skills and exper­tise to imple­ment changes that will increase per­for­mance still further.

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